Monday, November 01, 2004

Thalia Zedek Tour Report #7

Saturday, October 23, Bologna, Italy. Venue: Estragon

I get the pleasure of driving us to a Ducati Motorcycle shop to meet Francesco, who will be our tour helper and driver, and Elisa, who has a radio show. As usual in Italy, our directions aren't great. We have to drive around a bit to find it. The navigating is the hard part, but i find my personal driving style is well suited to Italy. Lucky me.

First, we go to a radio station interview and performance of 4 songs in Bologna. The local show is called Thermos. The interview is to be translated and rebroadcast on Elisa's national show, called Patchanka - on national Radio Popolare.

Another show with the band Sophia. It's a big black box rock hall. Very crowded and hot. The venue turns into a disco as soon the show is over, so we have to load our equipment out through oblivious dancers.

Sunday, October 24th, Rome, Italy. Venue: Circolo degli Artistri

Our final show with the band Sophia. I got to know the string quartet a little, and Davis, the crazy stage-hand.

Sophia is a complex setup, and their soundcheck is long, so I had a chance to walk around Roma for a few hours. Their was a round city park with thousands of black birds in the trees and flying through the air in great waves. The bird voices were like rain or TV snow-static... there were so many that their chirping became a wash of sound.

I saw a bunch of old stuff, crumbling aquaducts, statues of feet.

For our show, their were some troubles with the sound, but the show went OK, and it was good to see our booking agent friend, Pietro.

Moday, October 25th, Faenza, Italy. Venue: Clandestino

Morena is a ball of fire. She runs the venue, which is also a fancy restaurant. Loud and animated, stylish and wise, we talked about the music business.

The venue is in a ceramic tile museum. One of Faenza's main trades, historically.

It is a small, but comfortable room with balcony, but the PA is basic, and only used for vocals and the main parts of the drumkit. Our amplifiers don't get microphones on them, so we ended up turning them up too loud. We miss Maz, who is an excellent sound engineer.

The band stays at Morena's apartment. There seems to be a trick to turning on the water heater, because we could only get cold water. No showers today.

Telephones and internet are harder and harder to find... I write these updates using my portable travelling e-mail called Pocketmail. It works with regular phones and payphones, except for 70% of the phones in Italy for some reason.

Tuesday, October 26th, Pescara, Italy. Venue: Maharaja.

A good diner with Paolo and friends, including Julien from Nantes, France, where we had to cancel a show because the travel distances before and after were prohibitive.

Not so good sound in the room... flat ceiling, reflective hard surfaces get the ears ringing... but people seemed to like it.

Everybody except me drinks and smokes, and I'm at the point where it's hard to be around, so I get cranky. The next day's drive to Milan is very long, and we have to get up early, which makes me crankier, because somebody oversleeps. Typical tour stuff... it takes a lot of patience all around... even for really good friends.

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